Wednesday, January 27, 2010

cuban pork stew

Last night I made Cuban pork stew for dinner  It was a plan I hatched when trying to constructively deal with the vast amount of pork shoulder I cooked last week... for two people.  The pork was delicious the first round, but just too much for our small household.  Without making any trips to the store, I was able to create a delicious soup from my leftovers and some fridge and pantry staples.

I always have soup stock around.
I always have beans on hand, either canned or dried.
I always have onions in my fridge.
I always have bacon in my freezer.
I always have limes in my citrus bowl. - don't you have one sitting on your kitchen table?

Mix these all together, add a few spices like salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper, and voila!  Soup du jour!  Why was this stew successful?  I kept it simple.  I don't need fancy ingredients (or very many ingredients, for that matter) or elaborate cooking methods to jazz up food.  I just make sure I have the important elements present: salt, tang, sweet, and texture. 

I like thicker soup bases.  Sometimes this means I need to puree some of my ingredients to get that, but often a concentrated stock will do the trick.  Tomato paste will also have a nice thickening effect if you're going that route.  I try to stay away from filler thickeners like corn starch, but I'm not above them if that's what it takes.  If the broth tastes like salted water, I am an angry girl.

The best part about the soup?  I can freeze it in individual servings for future lunches.  I love doing that.

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